In the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney falsely claimed there were six studies that proved his $5 trillion tax cut that mostly benefits the wealthy would not lead to increased taxes on the middle class and/or blow a bigger hole in the deficit. “I will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families,” Romney said. “I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong.” In the vice presidential debate, Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan mentioned the six studies twice.
Talking Points Memo reports that “of the six studies, two are blog posts by the conservative American Enterprise Institute; one is a report by the Republican-friendly Heritage Foundation; one is a paper by Princeton professor and former George W. Bush adviser Harvey Rosen; the fifth and sixth are a Wall Street Journal op-ed and blog post by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, an adviser to the Romney campaign.”
These “studies” are so bogus that even Fox News found that it could no longer carry water for its own party’s candidates. On their Sunday show, host Chris Wallace took down Ed Gillespie, Karl Rove’s embed in the Romney campaign, on the issue:
GILLESPIE: Six different studies have said –
WALLACE: Those are very questionable. Some of them are blogs. Some of them are from the AEI, which is hardly an independent group. Those are not –
GILLESPIE: These are very credible sources, and, you know –
WALLACE: One of them is from a guy who is — a blog from a high who was a top advisor to George W. Bush. These are hardly nonpartisan studies.
GILLESPIE: Look, Chris, this — I think if you look at Harvard and AEI and other studies, are very credible sources for economic analysis.
WALLACE: You wouldn’t say that AEI is a conservative think tank.
GILLESPIE: I would say it is a right-leaning think tank. That doesn’t make it not credible.
WALLACE: It doesn’t make it nonpartisan.
GILLESPIE: It does make it nonpartisan. It’s not a partisan organization. I can tell you, there have been many instances where there are things that AEI has come out with and said, I didn’t find to be necessarily helpful to –
GILLESPIE: — the Republican Party.
WALLACE: Would you say the Brookings Institution is nonpartisan?
GILLESPIE: I would say the Brookings Institution is left leaning and that they are nonpartisan.